Exercise therapy for Parkinson's disease

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1986 Oct;67(10):741-5. doi: 10.1016/0003-9993(86)90007-9.


The outcomes of two different 12-week exercise programs were assessed by machine measurements of motor signs, tests of grip strength, motor coordination and speed, and neurophysiologic determinations of long-latency stretch responses in two groups of Parkinson patients matched for age, sex and stage of disease. The programs tested included an exercise program developed by the United Parkinson Foundation and a program of upper body karate training. Outcomes of these programs were similar. The majority of patients in both groups showed improvements in gait, tremor, grip strength and motor coordination on tasks requiring fine control. In one task involving whole body coordination there was a decline in function, while muscle rigidity was unchanged. The findings suggest that exercise is a useful adjunct to pharmacologic therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Therapy* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*